Every game at this point in the season is important for the Texas Rangers, and they aren't looking at Thursday's four-game series finale against Oakland any differently.
But they know it'd be nice to win it after dropping the past two games to the Athletics, who sit three games back in the American League West standings with seven to play.
"Hopefully it'll be back to four tomorrow," Josh Hamilton said. "That'll make everybody feel better."
Said Michael Young: "They're all important. Every game we play for the rest of the season is going to be important. That's why September is the best time of the year to be playing baseball. Every time we step on the field, it's an important game."
Here are a few postgame notes from Wednesday's loss:
* Josh Hamilton made no excuses for his two misplays in center field in the first inning that helped spark a five-run first for the A's. Hamilton had a single by Josh Donaldson roll underneath his glove, and then misread a fly ball by Derek Norris that turned into a triple. "Here the ball snakes so you've got to watch the ball all the way into your glove," Hamilton said. "I peeked too early and the ball went right around it. The ball in the gap, I went to a spot I thought it was going to be and it took off." Hamilton missed five games with ocular keratitis recently, but said his vision wasn't an issue.
* The Rangers received a few solid relief outings Wednesday. Roy Oswalt worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings; Yoshinori Tateyama pitched 2 1/3 scoreless; and Justin Grimm allowed one run over the final three innings.
* Martin Perez lasted only 2/3 of an inning in his start, and might have pitched his way out of the rotation. That spot comes up one more time this season -- Monday at Oakland -- and manager Ron Washington said a decision on that spot has not been made.
-- Drew Davison